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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Angus King
Senator (I-Maine) Member of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 01/29/2014
King: There been suggestions from outside groups and we hear it all the time, that Section 215 really doesn’t produce anything useful. And we’ve had testimony about plots thwarted. In order for us to assess this difficult issue, which as Senator Rockefeller pointed out, the President has served to us back in our laps. On the one hand we want to weigh national security concerns and the importance and significance of the program against privacy rights and the concerns of the public having large amounts of telephonic data in the governments hands. Is the program effective? Does it make a difference? Is it an important tool? Is it just something nice to have?
James Clapper
Director of National Intelligence
CSPAN 01/29/2014
Clapper: I think it’s an important tool (Section 215). And I also think, and I’ve said this before, that simply using the metric of plots foiled is not necessarily a way to get at the value of the program. What it does is it allows us to eliminate the possibility of a terrorist nexus in a domestic context. So for example, last summer, when I think 20 or so, were diplomatic facilities in the middle east were closed because various threat conditions. And in the course of that we came across nine selectors that pointed to the United States. So the use of this tool, of the 215 tool enabled us to quickly eliminate the possibility of a domestic nexus.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
CSPAN 01/29/2014
Comey: I totally understand people’s concerns and questions about them. They’re reasonable questions. I believe it is a useful tool. For the FBI it’s primary value is agility. That is, it allows us to do in minutes what would otherwise take us an hour. So now I’ll explain what I mean by that. If a terrorist is identified in the United States, or something blows up in the United States, we want to understand, OK is there's a network that we’re facing here. And we take any telephone numbers connected to that terrorist, to that attack, in the absence of 215, is use the legal process that we use everyday. Either grand Jury subpoenas or National Security letters. And by subpoenaing each of the telephone companies, I would assemble a picture of whether there is a network connected to the terrorist. That would take hours.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
CSPAN 01/29/2014
Comey: What this tool allows us to do is do that in minutes. In most circumstances, the difference between hours and minutes isn’t going to be material, except when it matters most. And so it’s a useful tool to me because of the agility it offers. And so I think it’s a healthy discussion to talk what might replace that. I want folks to understand what the trade-off would be in that diminusion, in that agility. That is what matters most to the FBI.
Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator (D-Oregon), Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 01/29/2014
Wyden: This is a request for the record. General Clapper, this is apropos of the good point Senator King meant. He asked you and General Comey whether bulk collection of all these phone records on law-abiding Americans, is necessary to prevent terror. And you all said that it was because of timeliness. As you know, the independent review commission, page 104 in their report, said that was not the case. They could get the data in a timely way without collecting all of these millions of phone records on law-abiding Americans. So if you all would, for the record, and I’ve asked this as well before, give us an example of a time when you have needed a record that was so old that the relevant phone company no longer had it. And I want to say, Mr. Director, that I think that’s possible within 30 days to have an answer to that since I’ve asked that repeatedly. If there’s some reason that you can’t do it, please let me know. Clapper: Yes, sir.
Joie Chen
Host of America Tonight
ALJAZAM 01/30/2014
Chen: Whistleblower Edward Snowden has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.The irony though is that he could share the same honor as the President who revoked his passport, Barack Obama. Wednesday on the hill the senate intelligence committee warned the panel that Snowden remains a threat to this nation's security.
Glenn Greenwald
Journalist, lawyer, columnist, Blogger, author
ALJAZAM 01/30/2014
Greenwald: He (Snowden) has brought to light enormous amounts of lying on the part of high level government officials, unconstitutional and other legal forms of surveillance. MacVicar: After the leaks, The Privacy and Civil Liberties Board investigated the NSA’s collection of phone data and concluded, “The government should end it’s 215 bulk telephone records program.” MacVicar: And last month a U.S. district judge ruled that the collection of U.S. domestic telephone records was “probably unconstitutional.” Greenwald: Only real check on abuses of power is if we the public know what they are doing. And that’s why it was so imperative that Mr. Snowden came forward and shined a light on these things. MacVicar: Snowden remains in exile without a U.S. passport, facing espionage charges here.
James Bamford
Author and Journalist, Writer for Wired
ALJAZAM 01/30/2014
MacVicar: For some, he is a traitor, who should be punished for the damage he has done to U.S. national security. For others, he is a patriotic whistleblower who revealed government excesses. Bamford: Well I think there is a big push to get him pardoned. I think a lot of people think he's a hero for what he did. I think he's a courageous whistleblower. I don’t think there’s any indication that he's a traitor, that he sold secrets to a foreign government secretly to make a lot of money.
Barack Obama
President
ALJAZAM 01/30/2014
MacVicar: Edward Snowden traitor or patriot, started an important national conversation about government intrusion and surveillance, a conversation that resulted in promises of new eyes on the watchers. Obama: I will reform our surveillance programs because the vital work of our intelligence depends on public confidence here and abroad. The privacy of ordinarily people is not being violated.
Baard Vegar Solhjell and Snorre Valen
Norway's Former Environment Minister and Former Representative of The Nowegian Parliament
ALJAZAM 01/30/2014
Obama: I will reform our surveillance programs because the vital work of intelligence depends on public confidence here and abroad. The privacy of ordinarily people is not being violated. MacVicar: it will take a lot to convince some people of that. But as the two Norwegian legislators who nominated Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize said we do not necessarily condone or support all of his disclosures. We are however convinced that the public debate and changes in policy have contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order. His actions have in fact led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle, they said, in global security policies. Its value cannot be overestimated.
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